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The electrical properties of granite appear to be dominantly controlled by the amount of free water in the granite and by temperature. Minor contributions to the electrical properties are provided by hydrostatic and lithostatic pressure, structurally bound water, oxygen fugacity, and other parameters. The effect of sulphur fugacity may be important but is experimentally unconfirmed. In addition to changing the magnitude of electrical properties, the amount and chemistry of water in granite significantly changes the temperature dependence of the electrical properties. With increasing temperature, changes in water content retain large, but lessened, effects on electrical properties. Near room temperature, a monolayer of water will decrease the electrical resistivity by an order of magnitude. Several weight-percent water may decrease the electrical resistivity by as much as nine orders of magnitude and decrease the thermal activation energy by a factor of five. At elevated temperatures just below granitic melting, a few weight-percent water may still decrease the resistivity by as much as 3 orders of magnitude and the activation energy by a factor of two.-Author
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Electrical properties of granite with implications for the lower crust.